OSF announces directors for 2014 season

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival has announced directors for the 2014 season.

In the Angus Bowmer Theatre

Tony Taccone will direct William Shakespeare’s last great romance, THE TEMPEST. Taccone has been a frequent guest artist at OSF, most recently writing (in collaboration with Jonathan Moscone) the world premiere production GHOST LIGHT, part of the American Revolutions series. Among his directing credits at OSF are CONTINENTAL DIVIDE, OTHELLO and PENTECOST. Taccone has been the artistic director at Berkeley Repertory Theatre for the past 15 years.

Playing all season in repertory with THE TEMPEST is the Marx Brothers farce THE COCOANUTS, with music and lyrics by Irving Berlin and book by George S. Kaufman, with additional text by Morrie Ryskind, and adapted by Mark Bedard. David Ivers, director of this season’s production of THE TAMING OF THE SHREW, will return to direct this madcap comedy. Ivers is co-artistic director at Utah Shakespeare Festival.

Also opening at the top of the season and playing through early July is the neglected classic drama THE SIGN IN SIDNEY BRUSTEIN’S WINDOW, by Lorraine Hansberry, author of LES BLANCS and A RAISIN IN THE SUN (produced at OSF in 1998 and 2004). Juliette Carrillo will direct. Carrillo is a nationally recognized theatre director who has staged work in many regional theatres across the country. She is also an award-winning filmmaker. THE SIGN IN SIDNEY BRUSTEIN’S WINDOW originally opened on Broadway in 1964 and ran for 101 performances, closing on the night Hansberry died. This production honors the 50th anniversary of that opening.

Opening in April is the world premiere adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s award-winning book A WRINKLE IN TIME, adapted and directed by Tracy Young. Young has adapted and directed a number of projects for OSF, most recently, MEDEA/MACBETH/CINDERELLA with Bill Rauch. Other projects have included THE SERVANT OF TWO MASTERS and THE IMAGINARY INVALID. A WRINKLE IN TIME, an enduring and epic science fiction fantasy tale, has at its center a young woman and her clairvoyant little brother who must find their mysteriously absent father. This story about the power of love and the strength of family has long held appeal for the young and young at heart.

In July, the final show to open in the Bowmer is the world premiere by Robert Schenkkan, THE GREAT SOCIETY. OSF Artistic Director Bill Rauch will direct. THE GREAT SOCIETY continues the story begun in Schenkkan’s ALL THE WAY (2012, co-winner of the inaugural Edward M. Kennedy Prize), also directed by Rauch. In this part of the story, President Lyndon Baines Johnson is in his second term—his legitimate term—but crises mount as the Vietnam War escalates out of control and domestic unrest threatens to boil over at home, putting the legislation and social change so dear to his heart in jeopardy. THE GREAT SOCIETY, commissioned by and co-produced with Seattle Repertory Theatre, is being developed by American Revolutions.

In the Thomas Theatre

OSF continues its dual yearlong explorations of Shakespeare by running THE COMEDY OF ERRORS all year in the Thomas Theatre. This favorite Shakespeare comedy will be directed by Kent Gash, the founding director of NYU Tisch School of the Arts’ New Studio on Broadway. His credits include Broadway, off-Broadway and numerous other New York productions. He is the former associate artistic director of The Alliance Theatre at the Woodruff and has many regional theatre credits as well.

The second play to open is Quiara Alegría Hudes’ Pulitzer Prize–winning play WATER BY THE SPOONFUL, which will be directed by Shishir Kurup. Kurup is a multi-talented theatre artist, who in addition to his work as a director, is also a composer, lyricist and playwright. He last worked at OSF in 2012 as composer and lyricist for MEDEA/MACBETH/CINDERELLA. Kurup is a 20-year member of Cornerstone Theater. WATER BY THE SPOONFUL, a compelling drama about recovering drug addicts who hunger for a sense of community and family, will open in March and close in June, then re-open in September and run through the end of the season. Ms. Hudes also is one of OSF’s commissioned writers for American Revolutions.

The final play to open in the Thomas Theatre, FAMILY ALBUM, will run July through Labor Day weekend. This world premiere musical features book and lyrics by Tony Award-winner Stew, music co-composed by Stew and Obie award winner Heidi Rodewald, and will be directed by their frequent collaborator Joanna Settle. FAMILY ALBUM is a hilarious and ultimately poignant story about a road weary middle-aged rock band that decides to move in with a family. The play was commissioned by OSF with support from the Edgerton Foundation. FAMILY ALBUM offers us a peek at a rarely seen side of the rock and roll life, and draws deeply on Stew and Heidi’s 16 years of making music together and touring. Settle is also directing THE TOTAL BENT, a Stew and Rodewald collaboration for The Public Theater, was artistic director at Shakespeare on the Sound in Connecticut from 2008-2012, and is known for her directorial work on Off-Broadway’s 9 PARTS OF DESIRE and the Public Theater’s IN DARFUR.

On the Elizabethan Stage

RICHARD III, one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays, will be presented on the outdoor stage for the first time in 30 years and will be directed by James Bundy, artistic director at Yale Repertory Theatre. Bundy is in his eleventh year as Dean of Yale School of Drama and artistic director at Yale Rep. He was also an actor at OSF in 1988 and 1989.

OSF is pleased to announce that it is again staging a musical outside—Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s brilliant INTO THE WOODS. Amanda Dehnert returns to OSF to direct this winner of several Tony Awards, including Best Score and Best Book. Dehnert is both director and musical director of this season’s MY FAIR LADY. She also directed JULIUS CAESAR and ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL.

Sarah Rasmussen will direct the final show to open outside—Shakespeare’s youthful comedy THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA. Rasmussen has been with OSF for three seasons. She was the Phil Killian Directing Fellow and served as assistant director on RUINED and THE MERCHANT OF VENICE. Through her award of the Princess Grace Apprenticeship, she acted as resident director of OSF’s Black Swan Lab, a project committed to developing new work. She is a professor of playwriting and directing at University of Texas, Austin, and was recently named Associate Artistic Director at Austin’s ZACH Theater.

The 2014 season will begin previews on February 14 and open the weekend of February 21–23. The opening performances on the Elizabethan Stage will be the weekend of June 13–15. The season will run through November 2.

2014 SEASON AT A GLANCE

ANGUS BOWMER THEATRE

THE TEMPEST by William Shakespeare
Directed by Tony Taccone
February 14 – November 2

THE COCOANUTS Music and lyrics by Irving Berlin; book by George S. Kaufman, with additional text by Morrie Ryskind; adapted by Mark Bedard
Directed by David Ivers
February 16 – November 2

THE SIGN IN SIDNEY BRUSTEIN’S WINDOW by Lorraine Hansberry
Directed by Juliette Carrillo
February 15 – July 6

A WRINKLE IN TIME based on the book by Madeleine L’Engle; adapted by Tracy Young World Premiere
Directed by Tracy Young
April 16 – November 1

THE GREAT SOCIETY by Robert Schenkkan World Premiere
Commissioned by and co-produced with Seattle Repertory Theatre
Directed by Bill Rauch
July 24 – November 1

THOMAS THEATRE

THE COMEDY OF ERRORS by William Shakespeare
Directed by Kent Gash
February 20 – November 2

WATER BY THE SPOONFUL by Quiara Alegría Hudes
Directed by Shishir Kurup
March 26 – June 20, September 3 – November 2

FAMILY ALBUM Book and Lyrics by Stew; Music by Stew and Heidi Rodewald World Premiere
Directed by Joanna Settle
July 5 – August 31

ELIZABETHAN STAGE/ALLEN PAVILION

RICHARD III by William Shakespeare
Directed by James Bundy
June 3 – October 10

INTO THE WOODS Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim; book by James Lapine
Directed by Amanda Dehnert
June 4 – October 11

THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA by William Shakespeare
Directed by Sarah Rasmussen
June 5 – October 12